Normally, I would begin this entry with a quote that I feel summed up the film or was of particular interest. With 2010’s western True Grit, Joel and Ethan Coen have written a screenplay so lush with clever dialogue, there was no point in choosing between them all. Although I appreciate the Coen’s and their work, I don’t love all of their films. I’m pleased to say, True Grit is a Coen brothers film I loved and would not hesitate in buying.
The film begins with the precocious Mattie Ross, fast talking her walk through negotiations in an attempt to find the proper U.S. Marshal to help her avenge the death of her father. She settles on the meanest, roughest of the bunch, Marshal Rooster Cogburn, played by Jeff Bridges. Mattie and Rooster, along with Texas Ranger LaBoeuf begin their search for Tom Chaney played by Josh Brolin. Cogburn and and LaBoeuf disagree on tactics and separate only to meet again at a later stage, resulting in Cogburn accidentally or otherwise, shooting LaBoeuf. The result is an outstanding scene where LaBoeuuf, played by Matt Damon and Cogburn attempt to out shoot one another. The performance here by Bridges is simply amazing. After LaBoeuf leaves as finding Chaney is deemed impossible, Cogburn and Ross continue on, slowly bonding along the way. Ross stumbles upon Chaney leading to the climax of the film and one of the more satisfying movie experiences during this journey.
As I mentioned before, easily the best part of this film is the dialogue. The plot is basic enough, which is always welcome in westerns, but the dialogue is so elegant and masterfully done, I could easily watch this film again and again, simply for that fact. Not all the credit should go to the Coen either as the performances in the film are fabulous all around. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld as tough as nails Mattie Ross is a revelation. What’s so outstanding about Steinfeld is not only does the deliver these lines like a seasoned vet, but she looks like a real person. An overlooked aspect about the Coen’s is they cast real looking people for their roles the majority of the time. It’s a rarity to see them casting a beautiful young woman who can’t act like other directors (I’m looking at you Bay!) Without glowing too much other the film, I can say that while it won’t win for best film or best actor/actress in 365 in 365, it’s an tremendous film and deserved all 10 of it’s Oscar nominations.